Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Yūgen — Uova Fatali: Yugen Plays Leddi
(AltrOck Productions ALT005, 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01
Yūgen is an Italian based chamber rock ensemble (nine members + numerous guests for this recording) led by guitarist Francesco Zago. Another member of the group is multi-instrumentalist
Tommaso Leddi, probably best known as a longtime member of Stormy Six during their most interesting / RIO period (Biglietto del Tram through Al Volo), and although he plays only mandolin here, he composed all the material for this album – hence the title. Among the remaining members and guests, one will hear piano, percussion, drums, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, soprano sax, violin, organ, synthesizers, flute, glockenspiel, electric bass, and a bunch of other instruments. On their previous release Labirinto d’Acqua they had drummer David Kerman working with them, and although Dave’s not here anymore, there seems to have been a rethink in the band’s overall arranging style to better integrate their “chamber” side with their progressive rock tendencies. Many of the pieces flow nicely and have the beautiful touch of melodicism, but there’s always that twist where things don’t go as expected, and a left turn is taken into some alternate folk or classical universe, making for a delightful and fun journey. Other parts dither in some sort of fragmentary avant-otherworld that seem lost and unable to launch in any direction, but eventually find their way out and back on the soundtrack. There’s not a lot of groove herein, but for the patient listener there are some very impressive digressions into forward thinking composition and arrangement.
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